A popular fitness blogger, who is fed up with mean comments about her size, airbrushed herself in a viral video to prove a point about body-shaming.
Cassey Ho, a Pilates instructor and the blogger behind Blogilates, cinched her waist, enhanced her bust and gave herself a virtual thigh gap in the moving clip, called “The ‘Perfect’ Body.” It includes screenshots of real comments the physically fit 28-year-old has received on social media: “You shouldn’t give advice when you’re so fat,” and “Suck it in more,” for example.
“I wanted to show people how I felt when I read those comments,” Ho, who lives in Los Angeles, told TODAY. “I wanted to do a video of me live-Photoshopping myself to the body that certain people want me to have.”
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“I noticed that there was more commentary on my body and on other people’s bodies (on social media),” she added. “And it got to me. It tore me apart and I would think about it every day.”
Ho teamed up with Smashbox Studios to film the video, which was posted on YouTube in April and has been viewed more than 9 million times.
To announce the video, she posted a photo on Instagram of her “new” body with the drastic Photoshop edits, but she was shocked to realize some fans thought the image was real.
“The first few comments were like, ‘Wow, you look great! How did you do that?’” Ho said. “I was a little afraid because I was like, ‘Oh no, you guys don’t know the difference between what’s real and what’s not anymore.’ It’s very scary.”
But when fans clicked through and watched the video, they realized the photo was a fake and praised Ho for making a “powerful” and “strong” statement. She said she’s thrilled with the response, and hopes it inspires girls to stop striving for unhealthy body proportions.
Ho said airbrushing isn’t just for magazine covers anymore — she knows people who even Photoshop their Instagram photos, which she thinks is a huge problem.
“It creates an unrealistic beauty ideal and girls growing up are going to be like, ‘I want my waist to be that small,’ but little do they know that maybe their bone structure will never allow that,” she said.
As for the haters, Ho said she hopes they know they helped her create a “beautiful, moving” video.
Ho isn’t the only one to use Photoshop to make a statement. Artist Kelsey Higley’s video “Manipulation” shows her molding her body like clay to mirror “reflecting opinions on what true beauty is.”
This story was originally published on April 22, 2015.